Background and aim Excess weight in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents an additional morbidity, and yet the prevalence has been rarely reported. The aim of this report is to establish the prevalence of overweight in children with IBD in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Methods Data from a cohort of children in the KSA diagnosed with IBD were analysed retrospectively. Growth parameters were recorded at diagnosis and body mass index (BMI) was calculated using the formula (weight/height2). The KSA charts were used as reference. Excess weight categories were defined as overweight (BMI-for age ≥85th to <95th), obesity ≥95th to <97th), and severe obesity ≥97th percentile. Chi-square test was used and p-value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results There were 417 children from birth to 18 years of age, including 133 ulcerative colitis (UC) (32%), and 284 Crohn disease (CD) (68%). The prevalence of excess weight was 12/133 (9%) in UC and 23/284 (8.1%) in CD (p = 0.063) much lower than in Western reports. However, the more common prevalence of excess weight in UC than CD, although not significant (p = 0.063), was similar to patterns from other population. The commonest form of excess weight was overweight 20/35 (57%), followed by obesity 9/35 (26%), and severe obesity 6/35 (17%).
Conclusion The pattern of excess weight in KSA children with IBD is similar to Western literature. However, a much lower prevalence is demonstrated. Identification of factors associated with the low prevalence of overweight and obesity is needed.